Clinical Presentation of Marginal Zone Lymphoma (MZL)

MZL can involve many different tissues in the body, including the stomach, thoracic or abdominal lymph nodes, peripheral blood, and bone marrow. The presentation and symptoms of different types of MZL are often related to their sites of involvement. Patients also commonly present with peripheral lymphadenopathy.1

The presentation often varies by MZL subtype, as described in the chart below.1

MALT Lymphoma Splenic MZL Nodal MZL
Sites of involvement
  • GI tract (stomach most common primary site)
  • Non-gastric: salivary/paratoid glands, skin, ocular adnexa, head and neck, lung, thyroid, breast
  • Splenic hilar (vessel entrance) lymph nodes
  • Thoracic or abdominal lymph (33%)
  • Peripheral blood involvement (30-50%)
  • Thoracic or abdominal lymph nodes (50%)
  • Peripheral blood involvement (10%)
Bone marrow involvement 15-20% 85% 30-40%
Common symptoms2 Abdominal pain, heartburn, enlarged salivary glands, shortness of breath, cough, plaques or nodules Splenomegaly (100%), early satiety Peripheral lymphadenopathy (95%), B symptoms* (15%)

*B symptoms include recurrent fever, drenching night sweats, and significant weight loss.

References: 1. Referenced with permission from the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) for B-Cell Lymphomas V.4.2019. © National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Inc. 2019. All rights reserved. Accessed July 10, 2019. To view the most recent and complete version of the guideline, go online to NCCN.org. NCCN makes no warranties of any kind whatsoever regarding their content, use or application and disclaims any responsibility for their application or use in any way. 2. Lymphoma Action. MALT Lymphoma. https://lymphoma-action.org.uk/types-lymphoma-non-hodgkin-lymphoma/malt-lymphoma-extranodal-marginal-zone-lymphoma#symptoms. Accessed January 29, 2019.